Thursday, November 15, 2007

State and Religion: The Case of Islam

Islam being the fastest growing religion in the world has reached far beyond the Middle East, emigrating it self to all the corners of the world settling especially in France, Turkey, North Africa, and Indonesia. Surely, Islamic radicalism has only reach a small number of individuals and do not reflect Islam. However, what has reached a large part of the non-Middle Eastern Muslim is that of Islamic fundamentalism specifically Shariah Law or Islamic Law. In these cases such as in local Nigerian law, instead of separating church and state the church is the state. Although Shariah law looks backwards to western culture, for some countries it is the best way to deal with local minor offenses. In addition, full blown Islamic law has not hit Nigeria as its federal government can control all local law. In Indonesia however the story is different, its Constitution accepts that there is a supreme god, but promises religious freedom to all. For this case, however, the population is majorly Muslim and its fundamentalists have pressured the government to install traditional Islamic law into its Constitution. Because the majority of these Muslim are moderates, shariah law has only been adopted in one remote area of Indonesia. From this i find that Islam's emigration will only take a moderate stronghold in countries outside the Middle East.

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